Could Kirkstall be a community of cycle paths, sustainable housing with green roofs, communal vegetable gardens and state-of-the-art community hubs?
Pie in the sky? Possibly – but a group of local residents are intent on setting out their vision for Kirkstall.
More than 50 people last night attended a busy first meeting of the newly-founded Kirkstall Neighbourhood Forum. They’re looking to take the first steps towards putting together a neighbourhood plan for the area.
The plan, which carries legal weight when deciding planning applications, will give local residents better control over where new development takes place, what it should look like and greater influence over the spending of local funds.
Kirkstall councillor John Illingworth said he hoped membership of the forum would ultimately top 1,000 local people, and that there would be increased membership of some of the area’s many existing community organisations as a result.
A board, made up of local residents who will manage the day-to-day affairs of the forum between public meetings, was elected. The meeting also made a number of constitutional and administrative decisions.
It was also agreed that the Foxcrofts area of Kirkstall, which has so far been included in the neighbouring Headingley Neighbourhood Plan, should be brought into the Kirkstall plan instead. Kirkstall Forum will make contact with Headingley to enable this.
The meeting didn’t have time to discuss some of the priorities for the Kirkstall plan and pledged to revisit the main issues facing Kirkstall today at a future meeting.
The forum board is due to meet for the first time and set the date of the next public meeting.